Republican leaders in Congress are preparing new investigations into everything from climate change scientists to Elizabeth Warren, and now Rep. Peter King (R-NY) , the incoming Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, has announced the latest target: Muslim Americans. While Republican attempts to vilify and demonize Muslim Americans are nothing new, King’s plans for congressional hearings takes the GOP’s anti-Muslim zeal to a new, and dangerous, level.
King previously wanted to investigate the planners of the Park51 Islamic Community Center, saying, “It’s a house of worship, but we are at war with al-Qaida,” and his proposed hearings could endanger collaboration between law enforcement offices and Muslim communities, inflame religious tensions, and usher in the return of classic McCarthy tactics to the House.
The move by Mr. King, who said he was planning to open a hearing on the matter beginning early next year, is the latest example of the new direction that the House will take under the incoming Republican majority.
Told of Mr. King’s plan, Muslim leaders expressed strong opposition, describing the move as a prejudiced act that was akin to racial profiling and that would unfairly cast suspicion on an entire group.
Abed A. Ayoub, the legal director for the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, said Mr. King’s effort ignored that Muslim leaders around the country had been working closely with law enforcement officials since the 2001 terror attacks.
“We are disturbed that this representative who is in a leadership position does not have the understanding and knowledge of what the realities are on the ground,” Mr. Ayoub said, adding that Mr. King’s proposal “has bigoted intentions.”
This won’t be the only effort by the newly-empowered Republicans to put Muslims in their crosshairs. Rep. Sue Myrick (R-NC) previously tried to investigate the Council on American Islamic Relations which she accused of trying to turn Capitol Hill interns into “spies.” Myrick, who wrote the foreword of a WorldNetDaily book on the matter, recently told Fox News that terrorist groups are sending members to Venezuela to learn Spanish and then to Mexico to illegally cross the boarder into the US.